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Smart Reading With Leap Frog Leap Pad Books

As concerned parents, do you sometimes find yourselves scratching your heads and wondering whether to hire a part time tutor to teach your little tot how to read? The process of learning how to read is probably the most difficult learning experience that both the teacher and the student has to learn and undergo, yet the moment both parties have successfully mastered it, then it opens up new possibilities of exploring more about the world through stories, books and literature in general. To jumpstart this amazing journey of reading, you can always depend on Leap Frog Leap Pad books to assist your child in learning his first basic words. Smart reading is not just about mastery – it is about the enjoyment that comes hand in hand with learning how to read kk-leap and this is what the toy company Leap Frog Enterprises always consider as a priority one.

To help your child improve their reading skills, it is important that you have the most appropriate and desirable learning kit and instructional materials to go with your enthusiastic supervision. The Leap Frog Leap Pad books for example are one of the highly acclaimed interactive and educational toys for kids and children as young as preschoolers and kindergarten students. This learning toy accessory can flip wonderful stories page after page without sending your child to intense boredom. A typical leap pad book contains a wide array of breathtaking stories, fun games and learning activities. Because this Leap Frog educational toy product encourages prereading skills, this is considered to be a smart reading tool for your little tot.

This book chip requires the My First Leap Pad learning system for it to work. With that you can buy many leap frog leap pad books and alternate learning habit day by day. With an enthusiastic guidance over your child, he or she can comprehend and understand the overall meaning of each story. Other leap pad books are also multipurpose in information relay as a typical leap pad does not only limits itself to helping a child how to read – it also introduces primary math skills like counting, shapes and numbers to your little tot. It has over 30 more or less different activities to which your child can enjoy.

With your support and concern, you can supervise your child as he tries to grapple the art of reading. If you are successful in that case, you will find that a part time tutor is not necessary anymore – you only need educational toys like leap pad books to help your kids thrive on reading. This will foster a parent-child relationship which is important in the child’s development and this is also an excellent opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their kids.

 

LEAPS, or Long-term Equity AnticiPation Securities, are essentially the same as regular options except that their expiration dates are much farther in the future.

Characteristics of LEAPS include:

First became available in 1990
Longer term expiration dates (9 to 30 months away)
Expiration date is always in January
LEAPS have a different trading symbol naming procedure than that of regular options
Converts to regular option once it gets within nine months of expiration, although the only real change is that its trading symbol changes to correspond to the regular option trading symbol naming procedure
Never more than two active LEAPS expiration cycles at any one time (e.g. Jan 2009 and Jan 2010, but not Jan 2011 until after Jan 2009 converts to regular option)
LEAPS aren’t available on every stock that trades options
Time Decay and LEAPS
The amount of daily time decay, also known as theta, for LEAPS occurs at a much slower rate than it does for near term options. In fact, a fundamental characteristic of all options is that the closer an option gets to expiration, the more its rate of daily time decay accelerates.

Advantages of LEAPS:

Ability to leverage position/investment without using margin
More time for the underlying stock to move in the direction you expect
Flexibility – LEAPS can be used by themselves or as part of a variety of other trading strategies
Disadvantages of LEAPS:
Bid-Ask spread penalty is much steeper for LEAPS than for near term options
Stock MUST move (up for LEAP calls, down for LEAP puts) by a certain amount for you to break even when held as a simple long position
No benefit of ownership (dividends, voting rights, etc.)
What You Can Do with LEAPS:
In addition to simply buying and holding LEAPS as part of an intermediate to long term substitute for owning the underlying stock (and possibly generating much higher returns), LEAPS can also be used as components of other strategies. Most often, they’re used in a covered call manner where the LEAPS are held as a substitute for owning the underlying shares and then near term options (in this case calls), are sold against them for income, or as a way to reduce the cost basis on the LEAPS.

 

 

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Allure of Almond basic facts of almonds

I remember my childhood, specially the exam time , when my mother give me almond with milk in the morning and says that it helps you to keep alert and specially almond sharpen your mind and memory. And it really happens. Almonds or Badam as we call them in India.

Though the years we have discovered that almond have many other honorable qualities. Besides being used as a garnish in for everything from muffins to halwa, milk and lassi, almonds are basic ingredients of any sweets in india like khoya burfi and Boondi ka ladoo.
But before we begin to wax lyrical about the almond, lets backtrack for a little bit of history about the wonder nut.

Almond have also been one of the earliest cultivated foods, originating in Western Asia. From here they were taken to Greece, Turkey and middle east. Jews regards almonds as the symbolic part of the dinner that breaks the Yom Kippur. In India, Its customery at weddings to give five suger-coated almonds to signify the five qualities of happy marriage – health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity.

Almonds have been always favourite in Indian kitchen much before the health benefits of almonds was discovered. In India , a basket of nuts – almond , cashew, pistachio and apricot are must in a Diwali festival gifts. From Shreekhand to Sheera and Thandai to Malai-kulfi, almonds add a rich taste to the food.
St Vincent and the Grenadines are a group of islands that make up one country. Other than being next door neighbors, they bear no relation to Grenada, despite the similarity of the name. These special islands have a similar feel to the British Virgins in that you can easily sail or motor from one to the other while remaining in the same country. The similarity ends there in that these islands are still less developed and far less “discovered” than the BVI. No jet skis, aquascooters, or spearfishing are permitted in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which make it perfect for a relaxing charter (see our boats in the Grenadines). There is a conscious effort toward protecting the spectacular natural heritage of the islands.

The prevailing winds and currents are north to south, especially in the winter months. It is comfortable to sail southward from St. Vincent down to Union Island , with the wind and the swell. Steaming north can be more of a struggle but the islands are close together and a round trip can easily be accomplished in a week to ten days. But…the main point of the Grenadines is not to “accomplish” anything. As one visitor put it, “There is never enough nothing to do….”

St. Vincent

St Vincent is a rugged, hilly volcanic bit of real estate that still houses a 3,000 foot volcano named Soufriere, which last erupted in 1979. There are no white sand beaches to attract tourists, and, thus, the island has remained largely unspoiled. The interior is undeveloped and, in a sense, nothing but “wild nature”. There are not even roads crossing the island. A true “eco-tourist” will enjoy climbing the volcano or taking a trip by boat to the Falls of Baleine on the north end of the island. For the less adventuresome, the Botanical Gardens near Kingstown are the oldest in the Western Hemishere and quite beautiful. There are still specimens of breadfruit left by the famous Captain Bligh.

Bequia (pronounced Beck-way)

This beautiful island is only about eight miles from Kingstown or Blue Lagoon in St. Vincent down happy-suger to Bequia. Bequia is the largest of the Grenadines (7 square miles) and has a rich history of boatbuilding and whaling. For years it was only possible to get to Bequia on a ferry from St. Vincent or a private boat so the island has maintained a very authentic West Indian character.

The main stopping point for yachts is Admiralty Bay/Port Elizabeth. There is a long walkway around the bay with various local shops, bars and restaurants. Try the Gingerbread Café, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and also sells gourmet special ty goods including wine, coffee and caviar…or Auberge Des Grenadines, famous for fresh lobster…or Frangiapani (right on the water), known for lobster (grilled lobster, lobster cocktails etc), curried conch and its Thursday night “jump-up” and barbeque. A little outside of town, Le Petit Jardin is a special treat. Its owner/chef trained at the Culinary Institute in the US , but his style is definitely mouth-watering French gourmet. At the southernmost end of town is the Plantation House, an old West Indian-style plantation resort with cottages and a restaurant and bar.

Mustique

This island hideaway (only 3 miles long and a mile and a half wide) is about fifteen miles from St. Vincent and ten from the West Cay of Bequia. Mustique is a privately-owned island sprinkled with only about 90 homes, many belonging to the rich and famous. Gently sloping manicured lawns and beautifully kept houses are characteristic of the island. The best way to get around is to rent a “mule” (heavy duty golf cart) or a motorbike (Mustique Mechanical Systems 488-8555).

Competing with Foxy’s for the most famous New Year’s Eve party in the Caribbean is Basil’s Bar ( ph# 784-488-8350 basils@caribsurf.com). Basil’s also hosts a Blues Festival each year (from January 19-February 5 in 2007) and a Wednesday night bbq buffet and “jump-up” with a steel band. Yachties in search of a drink, a great sunset and a little Caribbean music dinghy right up to the pier where Basil’s is located. You can buy a kaftan (for which Basil’s is known) in shop adjacent to the restaurant.

Cotton House, formerly a suger mill was completely renovated in 2004, is the only resort on the island. It is small with only 20 rooms, and like just about everything in Mustique, offers complete luxury in a small, private setting.

For provisions, try Corea’s Food Store or the Mustique General Store in the harbor. (The harbor is quaint and boats hosting more than 25 people are not allowed in.) There is a lovely French pattiserie, Sweetie Pie Bakery that sells baguettes, croissants and pain au chocolat.

Canouan

Canouan was a quiet island virtually untouched island until Italian developers bought it some years ago. Now it hosts a large Raffles Resort, the Tamarind Beach Hotel and Yacht Club, the Villa Monte Carlo Casino, the Amrita Spa and the Trump International Golf Club. It is not a favorite of yachties in the Grenadines, but if you have had enough tranquility, it is the perfect place for an afternoon on the golf course or evening at the casino!

Tobago Cays

Further to the south are the Tobago Cays, famous for amazing snorkeling and for the filming of “Pirates of the Caribbean ” and “Dead Man’s Chest”. This cluster of cays inside a rim of reef (Horseshoe Reef) are becoming more popular but are still far less crowded than places like the Baths in the BVI. Every morning, the “bread man” will come around to your boat offering bread and ice, two necessities. Sometimes, there will be fishermen offering fresh fish or lobster (beware the underweight/illegal lobsters!). Islanders sometimes host beach parties or bbq’s, but the Cays are by and large a natural phenomenon and remain a completely undeveloped national park. Be sure you are well provisioned before going in. Once there, soak up the beautiful sights around you, both under the water and above.

Mayreau

Saltwhistle Bay in Mayreau is not to be missed. It is one of the most perfect beaches in all of the Grenadines. If you arrive too late in the day during high season, you will have to anchor in Saline Bay on the far side of the island (a nice hike over the crest of large hill). (Beware of anchoring anywhere near the ferry that comes barreling into Saline Bay in order to dock at the enormous concrete pier over to one side).

Saltwhistle Bay is home to a spectacular resort called the Saltwhistle Bay Club (ph: 784-458-8444). Visiting yachties are welcome to lounge and swim at the beach (pretty much like being in a postcard that is too good to be true). For a luxury experience, reserve well in advance for cocktails at the Saltwhistle bar and dinner at the stone tables under the trees at the beach. For a little “local flavor” or a less expensive dining experience, walk up and over the hill to some of the local bars and restaurants. The food is fresh and delicious, and the people of the island are very welcoming and friendly.

Palm Island

Just a mile to the west of Union Island and south of the Tobago Cays is Palm Island . There is a narrow strip of sand just off the island, which looks like what you always imagined a deserted would be. Many of the palms that were planted here have been stripped off by hurricanes. You can anchor and go snorkeling in an area that is protected and clean.

 

 

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Real Ale Returns to the UK

Ale brewing in the UK is making a comeback. When I say ale, I’m being quite specific. I don’t mean lager, or stout, I mean proper brewed beer. Ales, bitters, milds, brewed in wooden kegs rather than metal containers. Having a distinctive nutty or chocolatey taste. The sort of thing that people in Britain get their leg pulled about. After all, it is best served warm.

I know a lot of people from outside the UK do not understand this. The idea that any sort of beer is best served warm. A good real ale is best served at room temperature. It tastes a lot better that way, that’s just the way it is.

The generic term “Ale” covers a number of different subtypes, and here we’ll take a look at four of the main ones.

1. Bitter. It is a typically English term for what most of the rest of the United Kingdom calls pale ale. Made primarily from malt and coke, and roasted.

The drink has been brewed in the United Kingdom since the 15th century, and probably contains slightly fewer hops than most other forms of ale. Bitter is probably the most common form of ale served in the United Kingdom. It is unlikely that you will ever go into a public house that does not have at least one pump.

2. Mild. A mild ale is generally a younger beer, brewed in much the same way as a bitter. However, it is served much earlier after the fermenting process. It is not uncommon for mild ale to be strengthened by adding an older aged beer to it. But a genuine mild ale is simply a younger form of bitter. Breweries such as Sadler’s ale has produced a variety of milds, and the distinct differences in texture, flavour and even colour is quite remarked.

3. Pale ale. A pale ale uses a lighter malts. This is simply achieved by reducing the roasting process that most malts and hops go through before being introduced to the brewing process. Because of their light colour they can also be known as wheat beers, golden ales and many other generic terms.

Many describe the taste of a pale ale as substantially smoother than, for example, a bitter. Which I suppose makes sense.

4. Real Ale. Real ale is a purist form of beer. Unlike most other beers it is not pasteurised, and is alesco unfiltered. Purists will insist that it is served from a cask, and that’s no effervescent agent is added. This means that the pumps inside bars and pubs will require the landlord to manually pump the beer to the glass.

In the United Kingdom, the campaign for real ale lobbies strongly for the rights of real ale drinkers. Their demands include a different set of taxes for traditionally produced beers, insisting that they are part of the heritage of the country and need to be protected.

There are many other types of beer in United Kingdom, most are an acquired taste. While lager, served cold is probably still the most popular drink, over the past 20 years there have been more and more ales and real beer is making a comeback. They seem increasingly popular.

I suppose everyone wherever they are in the world has their favorite beer or ale. Some like Guinness, other Indian Pale ales or even a Coors or Budweiser. What about people who love to create their own ale though? What is their favorite? Without doubt the number one all-time favorite home brew ale to make is Goat Scrotum Ale.

I’d have to admit that the name doesn’t make it sound great, but don’t let that put you off. This ale is very popular to make because there are so many variations of great tasting ales. It can taste of ginger, sweet chocolate, or even licorice, there are so many combination’s of flavors available to you.

This ale began under the name of Tumultuous Porter in the early years of the nineteenth century and the spicy dark drink became popular until prohibition, after which it disappeared for a while. Fortunately Charlie Papazian re-discovered it and brought the ale back for us all to enjoy.

That’s the history out of the way, but just how would you go about making your own ale?

First of all you will require these ingredients:

Crystal Malt – 1 Pound

Dark Malt Extract – 5 pounds

Crushed Barley Malt – 0.25 pounds

Hallertauer leaf hops – 3.5 ounces

Black Patent Malt – 0.25 pounds

Brown sugar – 1 cup

Blackstrap Molasses – 1 cup

Corn Sugar – 1 pound

Gypsum – 2 teaspoons

Irish Moss – 1 teaspoon

Ale Yeast – 1 pack

In addition there are some other optional ingredients you can use a mixture of including grated ginger root (3 ounces), brewing licorice (2 inches) Spruce Tree Essence (2 tablespoons), Dried Chili (Up to 10), Crushed Juniper Berries (0.25 cups) and Baker’s Chocolate or cocoa powder (6 ounces).

That’s the ingredients dealt with now on to the recipe itself.

The first step is take the Crystal Malt and steep it for one hour in brewing water at 150 degrees F

Remove any remaining crystal malt then add the malt extract, both types of sugar and the molasses.

Heat it up to a gentle boil then make sure everything has dissolved.

Then add in quarter ounce of the hops plus any of the additional ingredients such as grated ginger and boil for

quarter of an hour then add in a further half ounce of the hops and boil for another quarter hour.

Next you put in the patent malt, barley malt and boil for guess how long? Yes another quarter hour!

Don’t worry we are nearly finished – add quarter ounce of the hops, the gypsum and moss and boil for another quarter of an hour, but this time add in the rest of the hops two minutes from the end.

Then allow it to cool down to room temperature before straining it into a fermenter.

You add then yeast once the temperature is below 80 degrees F.

After the fermentation process has completed add in about 3/4 cup of corn sugar before you bottle it.

 

 

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Things To Do and Food to Eat in Fukuoka, Japan

Fukuoka isn’t that small of a place. Actual numbers bring the population to about the 5 million mark, with the city having roughly 1.3 million people. With that amount of people around, you know there has got to be something to do. On any day of the week if you look you will be able to find something that interests you. There are often festivals in one area or another in Fukuoka city. With a little fukuoka help from a friend or the domestic foreigner magizines and information centers you will be able to find out where the festivals are being held.

The center of Fukuoka city will have to be Tenjin (though others may argue it to be Hakata). It is the shoppers haven of the prefecture. Feel you need to do a little shopping for some nice named brands from Italy or France? head on over to Tenjin. Want to blow off some steam and hit a bar (including foreigner bars)? Tenjin is the place to be. want to meet some new friends? Rainbow Plaza in… you guessed it, Tenjin, is the place to do just that.

Right next door to Tenjin is Nakasu. Nakasu hosts nightlife entertainment but tends to cater to the more affluent individual. However, Nakasu also has a huge shopping complex named Canal City which has so many shops that you wouldn’t be able to count them all. The complex holds many restaurants, two hotels, a large cinema and in the center of Canal City is an area called Sun Plaza where it is common to find street performers doing their acts.

Of course Tenjin and Nakasu aren’t the only place you can have fun. I live about 10 minutes away from Tenjin by subway in a town called Nishijin and I can do nearly as many things here as I can in Tenjin. Bowling, swimming, soccer, billards, game centers, and even a movie theater are just a few of the things Nishijin and the nearby area has to offer.

Yahoo Dome (formerly Fukuoka Dome) is located in Momochi which boarders the sea. Yahoo Dome is home to the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. The Hawks are a strong baseball team, beloved by the city and its residents. In fact, there are only two teams in Japan’s professional baseball league who attract more than one million fans to their home games per year, and the Hawks are one of them. When the Hawks don’t have a home game you can sometimes find other activities occurring in the Dome. Yahoo Dome hosts various flea markets and concerts throughout the year.

Food, food, food!

As far as I’m concerned, Fukuoka has the best food to offer in all of Japan (though I hear food in Sapporo is quite good). Fukuoka has its own well known dishes and of course the chefs here are well capable of recreating dishes found throughout the world.

Yatai

When night begins to fall on Fukuoka city you may suddenly notice many little street vendors (usually operating out of their vans) popping up all over the sidewalks. These vendors serve a variety of foods ranging from ramen to yakiniku to tempura. Yatais themselves are really a site to see.

Hard Rock Cafe Fukuoka

On the occasions when I miss American and Mexican food, I always have the option to head on over to Hard Rock Cafe right next door to Fukuoka dome in Momochi. Momochi is adjacent to Nishijin so indeed I am in luck. Hard Rock Cafe Fukuoka boasts the largest restaurant of its kind in Japan. The food is fantastic and of course the atmosphere is like all other Hard Rock Cafes out there. The staff is very friendly and since I frequent their establishment often I am treated extremely well with occasional benefits.

Izakaya

Though not only found in Fukuoka, Izakaya restaurants deserve a notable mention. Izakayas offer a wide variety of food and more importantly drinks at a low price. University students as well as business men can often be found in these restaurants chatting with colleagues and drinking up a storm. All Izakayas offer a different ambiance, and with some searching you will be able to find one that suits you.

Famous Fukuoka food

Fukuoka ramen

Have you ever had that cup O ramen or that freeze dried packaged ramen? bah! throw that out and try some “Tonkatsu ramen” (pork ramen) famous in Fukuoka and well know throughout all of Japan. First time I tried it I was instantly hooked and to this day try and eat it once every week or so.

Mentaiko

Another famous food which Fukuoka is renound for is mentaiko (very tiny fish eggs). To some people mentaiko may not seem very appatizing but please don’t knock it till you try it. Mentaiko spagetti, as an example, is a delicious treat around these parts. And there are of course many other recipes which have use for mentaiko.

Transportation

Unlike the nickname given to New York, Fukuoka does tend to get a little tired at night but usually not until quite late especially on weekends. One of the reasons for this in my humble opinion is the transportation shutdown at around midnight. Thats right, the subway, train, and bus system all but stops once you hit the AM. Which leaves the weary and, more often than not, drunk to either take a taxi home, walk, or I have even heard the “I will just stay up until the subway starts again at 6:00 before I go home” line used by those who just aren’t finished partying when its time for the transportation system’s last call. This isn’t just a Fukuoka special, for the shutdown happens throughout the whole of Japan.

Though the transportation system does shutdown at perhaps inconvenient times, it is a wonderful system. Perfectly clean trains, buses and subways (which are amazingly quiet) are the consequence of the shutdown for they are all cleaned during the wee hours of the morning.

Location

Fukuoka is found on the southernmost island of the four main islands in Japan. The name of the island is Kyushu. Fukuoka happens to be closer to Seoul, South Korea than it is to Tokyo. Fukuoka prefecture is located on the northern tip of Kyushu.

 

 

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The Music Gallery: Can Music Ever Be Valued As Fine Art?

troduction: The Highest Art Auction in History

Recently a Christie’s art sale became the highest auction in history. The sale included works by Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others and in total generated $495 million. The sale established 16 new world auction records, with nine works selling for more than $10m (£6.6m) and 23 for more than $5m (£3.2m). Christie’s said the record breaking sales reflected “a new era in the art market”.

The top lot of Wednesday’s sale was Pollock’s drip painting Number 19, 1948, which fetched $58.4m (£38.3m) – nearly twice its pre-sale estimate.

Lichtenstein’s Woman with Flowered Hat sold for $56.1 million, while another Basquiat work, Dustheads (top of article), went for $48.8 million.

All three works set the highest prices ever fetched for the artists at auction. Christie’s described the $495,021,500 total – which included commissions – as “staggering”. Only four of the 70 lots on offer went unsold.

In addition, a 1968 oil painting by Gerhard Richter has set a new record for the highest auction price achieved by a living artist. Richter’s photo-painting Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral Square, Milan) sold for $37.1 million (£24.4 million). Sotheby’s described Domplatz, Mailand, which depicts a cityscape painted in a style that suggests a blurred photograph, as a “masterpiece of 20th Century art” and the “epitome” of the artist’s 1960s photo-painting canon. Don Bryant, founder of Napa Valley’s Bryant Family Vineyard and the painting’s new owner, said the work “just knocks me over”.

Brett Gorvy, head of post-war and contemporary art, said “The remarkable bidding and record prices set reflect a new era in the art market,” he said. Steven Murphy, CEO of Christie’s International, said new collectors were helping drive the boom.

Myths of the Music-Fine Art Price Differential

When I came across this article I was stunned at the prices these f2art artworks were able to obtain. Several of them would hardly evoke a positive emotional response in me, while others might only slightly, but for almost all of them I really don’t understand how their prices are reflected in the work, and vice versa. Obviously, these pieces were not intended for people like me, an artist, while wealthy patrons certainly see their intrinsic artistic value clearly.

So why doesn’t music attract these kinds of prices? Is it even possible for a piece of recorded music, not music memorabilia or a music artifact (such as a rare record, LP, bootleg, T-shirt, album artwork, etc.), to be worth $1 million or more? Are all musicians and music composers doomed to struggle in the music industry and claw their way up into a career in music? If one painting can be valued at $1 million, why can’t a song or piece of music also be valued similarly? Apparently, the $.99 per download price is the highest price a song is able to command at market value, no matter what its quality or content, and the musician or composer must accept this value as such.

The financial equation looks something like this:

1 painting = $37 million

1 song = $.99

Sometimes people say that a song can change the world, but no one ever says that about paintings. So theoretically, if people want change $.99 is the price we must pay for it.

Now here are a few statements that should help us clarify what the monetary or value discrepancy between painting and music is based upon.

(1) There are fewer painters than there are musicians.

(2) Musicians are less talented than painters?

(3) It is easier to create music than it is to paint.

(4) The public values paintings more than music.

(5) Paintings are more beautiful than music.

(6) Paintings are impossible to copy unlike music.

(7) Painters work harder than musicians and composers.

(8) Blah, blah, blah.

Hardly anyone agrees with all of these statements and yet all, or at least some of them, would have to be true in order for the price of paintings to so greatly exceed the cost of music. Moreover, I doubt that art collectors and great painters have to deal with as much legal red tape as do musicians when releasing their work into the public domain, so why aren’t the rewards equal, if not greater for musicians who have to work almost as much protecting their work as in producing it. Musicians and composers, however, actually must do more than authenticate their work and obtain accurate appraisals concerning what their work is worth, but they get paid less. The equipment costs alone for musicians is much higher than it is for painters.

Maybe it’s fame, and not money, musicians are after? That would explain why most musicians settle for the low pay they receive from record deals and digital downloads. Perhaps, that’s also why many of them are touring more often to increase their fame and not their fortunes. But wait a minute, that’s where musicians actually make most of their money from live performances and the selling of merchandise, but not the music. I guess this is why many musicians see themselves not as composers, but rather as performers and entertainers.

So what can musicians do, who don’t see themselves as entertainers, but instead as composers who create music as a fine art? Because they too have a strong desire to earn a living to support themselves in their chosen profession, thus there must be a specialized approach whereby they present their work to music lovers or art collectors in search of assets and curators for unique pieces to place in their private galleries. Imagine that, a recorded piece of music that few have ever heard which is displayed and played only on a specified music player in a private art gallery or collection.

In thinking about how a musician can follow the example set by painters in the fine arts, I’ve isolated 4 principles that should help to make the spectacular financial rewards they’ve reached possible for the musician. So let’s analyze some of the characteristics that govern the market for fine art and see how musicians can apply these concepts to their creative, production, and marketing processes.

The Ideal Vehicle for Music as Fine Art

Here are 4 principles and practical suggestions for musicians who want to elevate their music into the realm of fine art by following the example of the painters of the past and present.

1) Strive to make unique music or music collections.

The composer must design experiments with sound or compositional techniques. Some music belongs in the realm of the public, while other music solely belongs in the realm of fine art. It’s really not that difficult to tell the difference. The difference is clear when one compares the environment of the nightclub and the music one finds there with the elevated environment of the ballet or opera and its music. The difference is not necessarily one in terms of types of music, but rather in the composer’s sonic fingerprint. In other words, not everyone thinks Jackson Pollock was a great painter, but everyone acknowledges that it took him years of development to reach a point where his style could be born. It’s the style of the artist or composer that will call out to the attention of wealthy patrons, the respect of peers, and the exclusive admiration of the music appreciator. In music, the style of the composer, regardless of genre, I call ‘a signature sound.’ It’s the signature sound that music and art collectors will want to own and for that they might be willing to pay or bid up the cost of ownership to a higher price.

2) Create a music gallery.

This could be modeled after the art gallery where one or several artist put their work on display. The difference with the music gallery is that you would have a hall filled with listening rooms or stations. These showings would not be live performances, but instead will be in effect sound installations. You could also separate one hall into several compartments for different composers. The music showing would be an exclusive event provided to serious music and art collectors who actively seek out sonic experiences and buy what they like. The purpose of the music gallery would be the same as the art gallery – to give the public a sample of the artist’s talent, to give critics something to write about, to have other composers comment on the work of a peer, and to create buzz in the art world. Always remember that it shouldn’t be the event that drives the buzz, but the music that makes the event.

 

 

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Japanese Girls – Why They Are So Cute!

The list is long: pigeon-toed, squeaky voices, baby noises, giggly, cute make-up, air headed, pig tails, flower prints, pastel one-pieces, furry little stuffed dolls, and so on. The popular images shared around the world of Japanese girls is all about cuteness.

There are many plausible theories floating around the internet on why Japanese women are so cute. Some theories range from how they are portrayed in manga and in anime that have a direct effect on young Japanese girls. There are also social demands placed on young women seikatsusuidosos from men to be cute and skinny. Marketing ploys to attract business for everything cute and cuddly are all over Japan. Then there’s the media, and so forth and so on. All of these reasons have some validity.

My take on all of this is relatively straight forward. The keyword here is trends, which come and go here in Japan, along with marketing schemes started by celebrities and media moguls. The “Kawaii” or “cuteness syndrome,” as it’s called in English, didn’t start overnight. I contend that it was started at around the latter half of Japan’s “bubble economy” when prosperity swept through the country, how else could Japanese girls fund their shopping expeditions. Some pundits may argue against this by saying the origins of “kawaii” started much earlier than this. Depending on which aspect of “kawaii,” they are correct. My view is much more contemporary and practical.

Seika Matsuda was and is still the person largely credited for starting this “cuteness” trend back in the 1980s. She was the first “cute” idol, singer, and songwriter to flood the television airwaves back when Japan was experiencing its economic boom, and eventually its subsequent decline.

Ms. Matsuda has been hailed as the eternal goddess by television networks all over the country. For 32 years her influence has been felt in almost every aspect of Japanese industry. She has inspired generations of T.V. personalities and songwriters like Ayumi Hamasaki who has also been idolized by almost all young super cute Japanese girls. Everything from the way she dresses to the way she wears her make up. The way she talks and walks is all emulated by cute Japanese girls.

Like Matsuda Seika, Ayumi Hamasaki has been marketed by major companies for their cuteness as shown in their T.V. commercials, music videos, and live performances.
Japanese girls are cute because of the direct and indirect influences of these two women. The media helps perpetuate this cute image that young girls find to be trendy and fashionable by incorporating cute dolls and girly accessories such as “Hello Kitty”. It’s all big business which has been generating millions of dollars in cute goods and clothing items for decades. Japanese girls are cute because it’s trendy and society glorifies this trend. This trend is a part of the culture of Japan now and has become a huge draw for foreign tourist.

 

On May 1897, while the great American novelist, humorist, and social critic Samuel Clemens – well known under the nom de plume of Mark Twain, was in London on a speaking tour, someone started a rumor that he was critically ill and emaciated. Then news followed that he had died.

A reporter told Mark that a famous American newspaper printed his obituary, he quipped:

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

The same story holds true for the myth, “Email is dead.” People say email marketing is dying. Everyone is moving to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the likes. Use social instead!

Relax, take a deep breath and say,

“Seika no itten ni kokorowoshizumetouitsusuru.”

It means, “Keep one point.” Submerge one’s mind at one point; Calm one’s mind. This exercise is one of the fundamental principles of Aikido. OK; OK, before I get lost in the sea of mind principles, back to regular programming. Email is still useful, and it will be with us for a very long time.

Even Gurus make mistakes

Anyone who runs a serious business online takes advantage of the potential benefits of email. People may use social media channels as a strategy, but its main purpose is to drive traffic to their website; Lead them to an opt-in page and capture email addresses to grow their list. If you put all your efforts on building your followers through the various social media channels and not your email list, you are losing out.

There’s one Internet guru who started establishing his presence through social and intentionally ignored his email list. Over time, he realized that it did not do him good. It did not move the needle. He gathered about 40k Twitter followers, but when he drove them to his website, he only got a handful of subscribers. Same goes with his 100k, Facebook followers. When it’s time to gather moss, only a few converted. Now, he’s starting from scratch. He’s struggling to build his email database again.

Now, compare this to measly 10k email subscribers. When you push that send button, it’s instant acceleration. A big difference compared to the low conversion rate social can do for you.

On April 2003, Jeff Walker conducted a mastermind meeting (aka Platinum Mastermind Group meeting) along with his members (he calls his members his extended family).

Jeff Walker is an Internet marketer based in Durango, Colorado and the creator of the Product Launch Formula. He is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller “Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams.”.

During the meeting, a well-known Technopreneur, also a published author who wrote the first book on email marketing in 1999, joined his session. In one of the discussions, the author suddenly blurted and said, “Email is dead!” He kept on ranting on why they should quell on using email. He was an exuberant and enthusiastic guy. But everyone was surprised when he made such a bold statement which provoked everyone to argue. And he argues back. What made it worse, he shocked everyone when he stood up on top of his table and made loud paroxysms saying, “Email is dead! It’s dying! We got to move on! ”

We all know that he is misguided. Because then on, billions of dollars have been earned from harnessing the powers of email marketing. Jeff’s headquarters in Colorado was a product of email marketing. Anik Singal’s, named top 3 young entrepreneurs by the “Businessweek” and “Inc 500”; built his mansion from the money he made from “Inbox Blueprint.” This online program was heavy on email marketing. They realized these rewards because they grabbed the opportunities email marketing has offered. We are inundated with rags to riches stories of people exploiting the potentials of email marketing.

Here are statistics to prove that Email is a critical communications tool in the workplace and it will grow significantly over the coming years.

 

 

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Black Mold – Levels Of Severity, Effects On Health, And Necessary Precautions

Black mold is basically a kind of fungus that can be found in moist and humid areas. You can find these deadly creatures in any part of your house especially washroom, basements and kitchen. Black mold can seriously affect one’s health, as they produce spores which contain mycotoxins. Prolonged exposure to these spores can lead to severe health problems or ultimately death.

Once these creatures start taking birth in your house, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop their growth. This is because they spread at an alarming rate and can invade your entire house. You can still avoid its exposure if they are found outdoors, but if they grow inside your house, you have no other option than to live with these harmful creatures.

Black mold is also known as Stachybotrys chartarum. It is in green and blackish color and can grow on damp places like damaged walls, floors, basins and organic products. There are many different species of black mold and each of them produces mycotoxins of varied severity. The level of severity will depend on various factors like moisture, food source and temperature. The presence of all these factors can make the situation worse.

It is needless to say that these fungi can severely affect one’s health. First of all, exposure to black mold can weaken your immune system. You will develop allergies and experience irritation in eyes throat and skin. Some will even start suffering from diarrhea. In extreme cases, consistent exposure may result in death of the person. There are some forms of mycotoxins that can have a greater impact on animals and pets than on humans.

Due to its increased severity and health issues, many companies have come up with high formula products to get rid of mold. They have produced mold killing sprays, detergents and even paints. By using these products, you can kill away these creatures and wash off the affected places. Some people use products like bleach and ammonia. However, bleach has its own certain limitations. First of all, it cannot reach in to the tiniest corners of your house, where molds have been nesting.

Secondly, bleach cleans the place temporarily, but it does not prevent future growth of black mold. Moreover, bleach is unfit for human health which further adds to the problem. In such cases, natural black mold killing products would work best because they do not cause harm to human health and can reach every corner of the house where molds are hiding. They are also free from all sorts of side effects and also prevent mold from growing in the future.

As The US emerges from a long recession, managing the growing cost of healthcare remains an ongoing concern. The Affordable Health Act will eventually assure the availability of healthcare insurance coverage to over 30 million more Americans. This landmark legislation will improve access to a previously uninsured or underinsured group of Americans.

Health and Healthcare disparities is broadly defined as worse baseline states of health and relatively worse clinical outcomes associated with certain diseases in certain population groups. The affected groups may be distinguished by race, ethnicity, culture, gender, religion and age. The costs to treat the diseases which result from Health and Healthcare disparities represent one of the recognized areas of unnecessary and arguably avoidable healthcare delivery costs. Specifically, in certain instances both prevention and more cost efficient management of chronic disease states can significantly reduce healthcare costs. A chronic disease is defined as a long lasting or recurrent medical condition.

Some common examples include diabetes, hypertension, asthma and cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, our current healthcare system may be better equipped to manage intermittent and episodic disease occurrences and not the demands of chronic medical conditions In a study published by Weidman et al from The Urban Institute,the authors estimated that in 2009, disparities among black health  African Americans, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites will cost the health care system $23.9 billion dollars. Medicare alone will spend an extra $15.6 billion while private insurers will incur $5.1 billion in additional costs due to elevated rates of chronic illness among these groups of Americans. Over the 10-year period from 2009 through 2018, the authors estimated that the total cost of these disparities to be approximately $337 billion, including $220 billion for Medicare.

In the same study, the authors estimated the total healthcare costs secondary to racial and ethnic health disparities in chronic disease treatment (diabetes, hypertension, stroke, renal disease, poor general health) in African Americans and Latino Americans residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be $700 million. The Urban Institute. A study entitled The Economic Burden of Health inequalities in the United States by LaVeist et almeasured the economic burden of health disparities in the US using three measures: (1) direct medical costs of health inequalities (2) Indirect costs of health inequalities (3) Costs of premature death Their findings revealed:

The combined costs of health inequalities and premature death in the US among African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans were $1.24 trillion
Eliminating health disparities for minorities would have reduced direct medical expenditures by $229.4 billion for the years 2003-2006
Between 2003 and 2006, 30.6% of direct medical expenditures for African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics were excess costs due to health inequalities.
Cultural competence (CC) refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures. CC comprises four components: (a) Awareness of one’s own cultural worldview, (b) Attitude towards cultural differences, (c) Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and (d) cross-cultural skills. Developing cultural competence results in an ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures. CC has been increasingly recognized as an important, overlooked and underappreciated factor in delivering healthcare to an increasingly diverse America. US census estimations project that by 2050, over 50% of Americans will be non-white. Over 50% of children will be nonwhite by 2025. It seems intuitive to that the interface between patient, healthcare system and healthcare provider is a critical point in the delivery of healthcare. To this end, The Office of Minority Health in the Department of Health and Human Services has issued mandates and recommendations to inform, guide and facilitate the creation of cultural and language appropriate services. (CLAS Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services). Implementation of these guidelines within systems and agencies and among individuals can enhance CC and ultimately improve clinical outcomes.. The Center for Health Improvement and Economic Development was one of several parties which advocated for statewide guidelines regarding the cultural competency CME (continuing medical education) requirements for initial licensure and relicensing of physicians in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. To accomplish this goal, we set forth to educate and inform the various stakeholders regarding the intrinsic value of CC as a critical determinant of improving healthcare outcomes and a direct result of a utilitarian argument of social justice in the United States. The Center also recognized the importance of making a compelling business case in the current economic climate Partnering with the Gateway Medical Society, the Pennsylvania State Legislative Black Caucus (PSLBC) under the leadership of State Representative Ronald G. Waters and the Center for Health Improvement and Economic Development-a townhall format meeting was organized and planned in Pittsburgh. Local legislators including State Representatives Jake Wheatley, Tom Preston and Daniel Frankel were in attendance.

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The Impact Of GSM Mobile Phones On Nigerians

Looking back to what life used to be for all of us before the GSM evolution about 6 years ago, it gives one a clear understanding of the positive impact GSM has on Nigerians. The way we used to communicate and do business have changed tremendously, the life of the common people has also been touched in different ways, it cuts across every facet of life, which is why I feel delighted to talk about some of the gains of the industry though it is not yet ‘ohuru’.

Some of the blessings of mobile communication in Nigeria has been directly or indirectly on the populace, the cooperate world, business world, and the society at large.

Job creation and employment is one of the good things that GSM brought to us, the sector is the highest sector that has employed both skilled and unskilled manpower in recent times. A great number of people especially the young graduates have been given employment in the GSM companies where they make a living and are useful to their families.

Apart from this direct employment, jobs have been created, where many people are self reliant doing their own GSM businesses, one of such business is making of calls and the sale of recharge cards to GSM users. This business is popularly known as business centers or call centers. Looking around the cities, towns and even villages one will hardly walk about two poles without seeing a business center mainly characterized by the use of umbrellas, kiosks and even shops painted with the colors of the mobile service providers. It is easy to start because it requires little start up capital, in fact all you need is your umbrella as a shade, a stool, a table and your handset loaded with calling credit of any amount say #1000, and you have started. This has provided a means of livelihood for many people who would have been unemployed; some have also learnt the technical aspect of the business by repairing and fixing of mobile phones in their repair shops.

Sales of GSM phones and its accessories are big business, it is also very profitable here in Nigeria, and I consider it the biggest gain of this revolution. It has really provided affluence for many who are in the business big time. The return on investment is superb. Having the statistics that over 16 million handsets have been sold so far, 32.2 million mobile lines in Nigeria now, with the number of mobile lines increasing to 43 million within the first part of the year and a projection of about 76 million mobile lines come 2011, all these are indicators of how the market is and where it is going. Many people have actually tapped into this boom. This business is very lucrative. If you have ever visited the Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos, You will understand the veracity of the statistics and research given above, the market is said to be the largest phone market in Africa.

The impact is also felt in the way businesses are being done these days, it has reduced the risk and cost of traveling long distances, since one can be in his house and actually attain to the business using his mobile phone. It has made all of us ubiquitous. Businesses are being done nowadays at the speed of thought like Bill Gates envisaged.

Cooperate Organizations like the banks for example; have integrated GSM technology into banking operations known as Mobile banking where a customer has full access to his or her account using the mobile phone or device. Examination bodies and educational institutions have also employed this technology too where candidates check their results on their mobile phones, the internet can also be accessed from the mobile phone and other value added services like picture messaging,  Nigerian Music music downloads etc,giving the users a beautiful experience.

Socially, we have benefited in the cooperate social responsibility of the service providers and phone companies. Some have provided educational facilities, AIDS campaign awareness, ICT labs, Hospitals and sponsorship of several events, one of such events is the Globacom (one of the service providers in Nigeria) Premiership League where huge amount of money is set aside for the development of Nigeria football. Many individuals have also benefited from these companies by being their ambassadors.
Our social life has also being impacted on, relationships with friends, relatives and loved ones are kept alive through phones calls, I have personally benefited from the mid night free calls being offered by MTN, I have good time to talk to my friends and loved ones. I know you have actually benefited too, feel free to share your experiences on here.

More investors are showing interest in Nigeria because of the rapid increase and return on investments,with the recent issuing of 3G licenses to four telcoms companies,more benefits is on the way for GSM users in Nigeria.

Having pointed out some of the successes being recorded in the lives of the people, it is also pertinent to say that we expect quality service at a more reduced cost, like the Oliver Twist -we want more!

OMERUO NDUKAKU KENNETH IS AN ICT CONSULTANT IN NIGERIA AND AN INTERNET MARKETER WITH SPECIAL INTEREST IN MOBILE COMMUNICATION.HE IS THE OWNER OF THE WEBSITE [http://www.gsmusersforum.com] -AN ONLINE COMMUNITY OF MOBILE PHONE USERS.

 

 

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Honda RA107: Off with the “Elephant Ears”

In Barcelona, Spain last week Honda F1 team has tested its new aerodynamic design which was in the form of “elephant ears”.

The Honda RA107 which was driven by Christian Klien with its protruding elephant ears on its front nose was following the heels on MacLaren’s nose-straddling front wing. Unfortunately it seems like the elephant ears are not really meant for racing, the Honda F1 team has set the slowest time of the day. The team  ホームページ制作 福岡 has finally decided not to push through with their new aerodynamic design since it has done nothing to enhance the performance of their car.

According to Jacky Eeckelaert, engineering director, “The main purpose of our test programme this week was to evaluate different aerodynamic configurations which have been developed in order to improve the braking stability of the car. The braking is definitely better now and the lap times have improved and become more consistent, but there is still a long way to go to bring the team back into contention.”

Honda, second largest auto seller in Japan and maker of high quality Accord body kit, has been working really hard to correct the problems of the new car since the start of the season especially in terms of the car’s handling performance.

According to some reports the team is currently working round the clock to develop a new car which would be launch hopefully next month in time for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Although the test didn’t go well for the Honda team it proceeded remarkably for some teams like for instance David Coulthard and Red Bull Racing has been able to grab some attention by posting a new track record with a time of 1:21.066. The quick lap happens during the qualifying simulation wherein the RB3 was running on a minimal amount of fuel just before it hit the circuit.

Pedro de la Rosa of the McLaren’s was 2-10ths back as he tries to test the new front wing of the team’s car which would make its debut at the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks time. Felipe Massa of the Ferrari team was able to finish with the third fastest time despite a mechanical failure that has interrupted his drive in the morning. And as expected of Ferraris they have finished the week recording the fastest time, three out of the four testing days.

Giancarlo Fisichella, the driver for Renault was the fourth quickest with Robert Kubica completing the top five. The driver for Toyota, Ralf Schumacher finishes as the sixth fastest.

About Honda
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. or Honda for short is a Japanese engineering and engine manufacturer corporation. It is renowned for its automobiles and motorcycles. It has also surpassed Nissan as the second largest distributor of autos in Japan.

Honda also manufactures other products that include trucks, robots, scooters, jet engines, and jets, ATV, electric generators, water craft, lawn and garden equipment, marine engines, as well as aeronautical and other various mobile technologies. The high-end line of cars of Honda is sold under the Acura brand for China and North America. And just recently the company has ventured into the domain of mountain bikes and they have produced the first-of-its-kind bike that makes use of an internal gear changing system in the Honda RN-01 G-cross.

In addition, Honda is also the world’s largest producer of engines, building more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. It was in the year 2004 when Honda started producing diesel motors that were very silent and does not required the addition of particulate filter to pass the emission standards.

Honda has its base in Tokyo. Its shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange, Tokyo Stock Exchange and exchanges in Osaka, Sapporo, Nagoya, Kyoto, London, Switzerland, Paris, and Fukuoka. Honda has subsidiaries in California and Canada plus it also forms a number of joint ventures around the world which include Honda Siel Cars India Ltd., Dongfeng Honda Automobile Company in China, Hero Honda Motorcycles India Ltd., and Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan.

For more about your Aftermarket parts needs accord body kit, visit your trusted online source.

Evander Klum is a Business Administration graduate who hails from Alabama. He enjoys extreme sports and he is also a car racing fanatic. At present, he works as a marketing manager at an advertising agency in Cleveland.

 

 

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Pros And Cons Of Online Debt Management Services

There are online debt management services that you can turn to when you are seeking debt relief solutions. You will find that there are advantages and disadvantages associated with online debt management solutions. Understanding the pros and cons of such services will make it easier for you to decide if  Managed Cloud Services online debt relief solutions are the perfect solution for you.

Some of the prime advantages you will discover in association with online debt management services include the expedient and rapid reduction of your existing and eligible debts. You may be able to lower your debts as low as fifty percent of the original debts you have accrued. Another distinct advantage of utilizing such services is identified in the fact that within a 12 to 36 month time, you will have resolved many, if not all of your debts. Further, you will also find that such services sometimes provide you with super fast ways of consolidating all of the debts that you presently have. Finally, there are online services that include debt counseling guidance; this guidance can ready you for the future and help you remain financially stable.

These services can sometimes have distinct disadvantages too; for example, if you are settling debts via online debt management services, not all of your debts may be eligible for the program and some of the debts that you have may not be settled for less than what you owe now. If you don’t find a good company to work with, you can end up losing out on your money too. Further, these programs are not swift; you have to be willing to work with the company for an extended period of time. If you find a company that delivers poor customer service or that proves unresponsive to your needs, you can end up having a great deal of difficulty working your way through the program being offered to you.

Online access to debt management services is clearly convenient; you can hire on a company from the comfort of home and work with a representative via online access. You can supply your personal information via encrypted and secure methods, and you can get your program established in a relatively short time span. Ultimately, you will have to give full consideration to the pros and the cons of such services before you agree to sign on for services offered to you.